FOURTEEN people have been arrested in a police crackdown on a Spain-based gang who made millions producing and distributing pistachio nuts that didn’t meet ecological standards.
The pistachios were labeled as “organic” and were sold for up to 80% over normal retail price despite ecological standards not being met in their production. Pesticides that are illegal in Spain – such as glyphosate and chlorate – were detected by police in nut samples when the investigation began last year. The gang used illegal pesticides to yield better harvests at a faster speed, which police say was damaging to the competition of Spain’s nut farming sector.
The gang falsified organic certificates when distributing the pistachios across Spain and into France, and police estimate that the group’s profits could stretch to 6 million euro. Europol and French police assisted the Spanish investigation and the arrested individuals will face charges of fraud against public health, money laundering, and falsification of documents.
Pistachios have been a popular snack since 6000 BC, and boast a wide range of health benefits.
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